Schebler, a mainstay on Reds teams of 2017 and 2018, has seen himself swiftly fall out of favor with the club as it collects a new crop of young outfielders. Jesse Winker, Phil Ervin, Nick Senzel, and Aristides Aquino have overtaken Schebler for playing time, and new arrivals Nicholas Castellanos and Shogo Akiyama only further cut into Schebler’s role.
Last year was a disaster for the 29-year-old Schebler, who limped to a .123/.253/.222 batting line, albeit in just 95 plate appearances. In the two years prior, however, Schebler was a different player, even reaching the 30-homer benchmark in 2017. From 2017-2018, he notched a .785 OPS while playing all three outfield positions on a consistent basis. That’s a player who can provide some value for a team, and teams with a thin outfield mix should have some interest in Schebler, who must either be traded or exposed to the other 29 teams via waivers in the next 7 days. Should he pass through waivers, he may then be released or assigned outright to the minors. That’s not a given, though, and he may be worth a claim as a depth outfielder.
Raley, meanwhile, is a particularly interesting case: the 32-year-old southpaw hasn’t appeared in a Major League game since 2013, when he was with the Cubs. After a stint in the Angels’ and Twins’ minor league systems, he commuted to South Korea, where he’s played in the KBO since 2015.
He’s getting a chance with the Reds this year as a non-roster invitee, and now he’s parlayed that into a spot on the 40-man roster. Nothing is certain, but there’s a decent chance he cracks Cincinnati’s Opening Day 30, joining a bullpen that will be key to the Reds’ performance this year. There’s no question that the rotation can be up there with the best in the National League, but the bullpen will need to collectively improve if they’re to compete in the Central division.
In five seasons with the KBO’s Lotte Giants, Raley threw 910 2/3 innings, making at least 30 starts every year. He struck out a total of 755 batters and posted a 4.13 ERA. Last year was his best in terms of home run prevention, but he also surrendered more walks than ever.